A plea for bias

The problem with journalism

The greatest misunderstanding in journalism today is that the media crisis has nothing to do with the quality of journalism itself. The quality of journalism is state-of-the-art, has been so for years. The problem is how to reach the audience. The much leaked – and much talked about – internal report from the NY Times made the real truth painfully clear. But even though the report got right to the heart of the problem, in the end it still recommended that more content marketing people were to support the Newsroom.

Now what if the problem is journalism? What if the idea of bundling the news in a newspaper or magazine made sense when access to content was scarce, but proves useless in these days of content overflow? What if interesting stories and news find their way to your stream faster than the media can report – so bringing the news is pointless? This being our world today, do we still need objective journalism?

Alain De Botton, in his book The News, pleads in favor of bias in media. The more we are overwhelmed by streams of raw data and facts, the more we need help from people and brands that can give us a context and an explanation. According to media strategist Thomas Baekdal the only roles in media that will still put money in the bank, are roles such as the war reporter (in all senses of the word), the analyst, the opinion maker, the detective, the experienced expert, the activist and the teacher. People who turn facts into knowledge, knowledge into opinions and opinions into wisdom.

I am going to stalk Luuk Ros. What this magazine needs is a grumpy editor who tells us, for every single article, why we should read it – or retire. That would feel so good. And save us so much reading.


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